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Monday, November 5, 2012
WND's Ellis Washington Beclowns Himself on GM Bailout
Topic: WorldNetDaily

When your column starts out with going Godwin, we're in for a bumpy ride.

Indeed, Ellis Washington's latest self-beclowning of a column at WorldNetDaily does exactly that:

Are you like me? Are you sick of President Obama at every campaign stop bragging about how he saved GM, how he singlehandedly saved the U.S. auto industry? “Bin Laden dead, GM alive.” This is typical Marxist disinformation on a grand scale, or as Joseph Goebbels said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

Washington goes on to rant about General Motors building cars in China, citing some less-than-impeccable "news" sources in the process:

In 2010, Obama bailed out General Motors with $50 billion in taxpayer funds; Chrysler got $30 billion. GM still owes the American taxpayer $42 billion! How does Obama Motors repay the lavish largess he unconstitutionally stole from the American taxpayers? By leaving the country, of course. GM is currently moving many of its U.S. operations and thousands of jobs to China, according to Glenn Beck Radio on The Blaze Television Network, WND and other major outlets. The world’s largest automobile proving ground in China was built by GM, which has already built and opened 15 plants there, many of which will be making parts for U.S. cars.

Washington's claim that "GM still owes the American taxpayer $42 billion" relies on a column at the right-wing Townall by Katie Pavlich that lumps in $17 billion that was given to "Ally Bank, the company’s lending arm" into the money lent to GM. In fact, GM sold off a majority stake in Ally -- then known as GMAC -- in 2006, before the financial crisis. The federal government currently owns more than 73 percent of Ally Financial -- and it can presumably recoup at least some of the money it lent to Ally by selling ownership as the company stabilizes and becomes more profitable -- and the current GM owns just 4 percent.

Further, Washington's ranting about GM and China overlooks the fact that GM's China profits help prop up the rest of the company. Frm U.S. News & World Report's Rick Newman:

It might be ideal if all the cars GM sold in China — 2.6 million last year — were made in the United States and exported there. But most big automakers that sell cars in China build them there, via joint ventures similar to GM's. Building locally is increasingly the practice in all big markets, including the United States — where all the big European and Asian automakers now build at least some of the cars they sell in America.

GM profits from China, meanwhile, help prop up GM operations elsewhere that aren't doing as well — particularly Europe, which is a money-losing division that's one of GM's biggest problems. GM officials also say that the rules of their Chinese joint venture allow the company to take profits out of the country, which some western companies operating in China aren't allowed to do. (Instead, they must reinvest profits in China.)

After some Ellis-esque Obama-hate and Romney-fluffing, Washington is back to the misinformation:

Incidentally, other profitable foreign car manufacturers like BMW, Audi, Honda, Toyota and Kia aren’t burdened with these anti-capitalist union tactics. They are operated in, in essence, “Right to Work” nations. America should join their ranks and remove all these Marxist/communist unions as unnecessary barriers to free-market capitalism.

Actually, Germany -- home of BMW and Audi -- is not a "right to work" country and has very strong unions. According to Forbes, the average auto worker in Germany makes twice as much as the average U.S. auto worker. The difference is that unions and management do not have the adversarial relationship they do in the U.S., says Forbes:

There are “two overlapping sets of institutions” in Germany that guarantee high wages and good working conditions for autoworkers. The first is IG Metall, the country’s equivalent of the United Automobile Workers. Virtually all Germany’s car workers are members, and though they have the right to strike, they “hardly use it, because there is an elaborate system of conflict resolution that regularly is used to come to some sort of compromise that is acceptable to all parties,” according to Horst Mund, an IG Metall executive. The second institution is the German constitution, which allows for “works councils” in every factory, where management and employees work together on matters like shop floor conditions and work life. Mund says this guarantees cooperation, “where you don’t always wear your management pin or your union pin.”

And South Korea, where Kia is based, does have a union for auto workers, and earlier this year it was planning a strike for better wages.

But since Washington's strength is nonsensical rants and not the truth, he continues blithely on his rant, repeating the dishonest $42 billion claim again:

GM currently owes U.S. taxpayers over $42 billion in bailout money and concedes that it would be impossible to move so much of its manufacturing to China without using that money. However, GM has repeatedly said that its headquarters will remain in Detroit. Yet, if Obama is re-elected, he has repeatedly promised in his campaign speeches, he will let the Bush tax cuts lapse, which will in effect not only raise taxes on “the rich” but raise taxes on everybody, including the poor, the middle class and on businesses and corporations, beginning Jan. 1, 2013. When that occurs, even the GM headquarters likely will be moved out of Detroit, the city of my birth, to another country. Where?

… to China with love.

Washington just can't stop beclowning himself, can he?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:28 AM EST

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